(This is Volume IX of the Seagull Saga. Volumes I through VIII can be found under Archives or Categories.)
It was one of those beautiful summer mornings here in Myrtle Beach. Not too long after dawn. The water was still brownish, partly due to rough winds and churning waters. Some of the surf’s discoloring could be attributed to all the rain we had had in the preceding month. The sun had just peaked out from behind the clouds and its rays shot down from the clouds in shafts. There was a light breeze. No humidity. Perfect conditions for a beach bum hunting sharks teeth. I was still thinking a bit about some things I’d written in my blog. That’s when Jon Seagull appeared.
“Hey, Jon. What’ve you been up to?”
“Livin’ the dream my friend. Livin’ the dream. How are you doin’?”
“Oh, you know, strikes and gutters, ups and downs.”
“You don’t bowl,” Jon said.
“And you aren’t living any dream,” I answered, smiling.
Jon squawked. He enjoyed the mental jousting. “Hey, bum. I noticed you edited your blog on the Zimmerman verdict. Took out some comments about the local justice system four days after its publication. I thought you had a one-day rule about editing your crap for content.
“I do. But I stepped over the line of civility a tad. Even I have standards, Jon.”
That beady-eyed skyrat squawked again. “You backed down.”
“I reckon so.”
“Do you ‘reckon’ you were wrong in the first place?”
“Me, wr-ooo-ongg? Never.” Yeah, I have trouble saying that word. Much like the Fonz on Happy Days. “Well, maybe. Let’s just say there’s a time and place for everything.”
“Come on, dude. You don’t want to get on the bad side of the local yokels. Admit it.”
“Jon, I am a local yokel. I care about my community. But I don’t give a shit what the powers-that-be in this town think about me.”
Jon knew from the tone of my voice that he had gotten under my skin. He’d cut me to the bone. “Calm down, ol’ boy. I was just playing devil’s advocate.”
“Well, devil, just don’t sit on my shoulder like they do in those hokey movies. I prefer my shirts without any mess on them.”
“Chill, bum. I’m offering you constructive criticism. I thought you invited constructive criticism, but I guess you’re more thin-skinned than you pretend to be.”
I took a deep breath and turned to tell Jon that he was right. He was gone. Off to perfect his flying technique again.